Sat, 31 Jul 2021

SAN JOSE, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Costa Rica will continue its preparations for the 2021 Gold Cup and the final stage of CONCACAF 2022 World Cup qualifiers with a friendly against the Basque Country next month.

The fixture will be played at Eibar's Ipurua stadium on November 16, the Costa Rican football federation (Fedefut) said on Tuesday.

It will mark the third time that the Basque Country, who is managed by former Spain national team boss Javier Clemente, has played a FIFA-sanctioned international fixture.

The team from the autonomous community of Euskadi in northern Spain also played official matches against Venezuela and Panama in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

"They have footballers from Bilbao, Eibar, Real Sociedad and Alaves, and they are all top-level players," Costa Rica head coach Ronald Gonzalez said in video posted on the Fedefut website.

"They also have a historic manager in Javier Clemente. It will be a very demanding challenge, which is what we really need right now."

The match will come three days after Costa Rica meets Qatar in another friendly in Austria.

Los Ticos is among five teams that have already secured a berth in the last phase of 2022 World Cup qualifiers in the North American, Central American and Caribbean (CONCACAF) region. The others are the United States, Mexico, Jamaica and Honduras.

The 2021 Gold Cup - the CONCACAF region's premier international competition - will be played from July 10 to August 1.

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